The Confucian Four Books for Women: A New Translation of the Nu Shishu and the Commentary of Wang Xiang

ISBN : 9780190460884

Ann A Pang-White
328 ページ
156 x 235 mm

This volume brings the first English translation of the Confucian classics, Four Books for Women, to the English-speaking world with extensive commentary by the compiler, Wang Xiang, and annotations by the translator. As a female counterpart to the famous Sishu (Four Books) compiled by Zhu Xi, Wang Xiang's Nu sishu was an indispensable primer for women's education from its publication in the 16th century until the beginning of the 20th century. This work provides an invaluable look at the long-standing history and evolution of Chinese women's writing, education, identity, and philosophical discourse, along with their struggles and triumphs, across the millenniums and numerous Chinese dynasties.


Note on Editions, Commentaries, and Translation
Chronology of Chinese Dynasties
Essential Classic Chinese Terms with Corresponding English Translation
Introduction: Uncovering the Confucian Four Books for Women: Why Nu sishu? Why Now?
I. The Han Women: Ban Zhao and the Lessons for Women (c. 45-117)
Wang Xiang's Biographic Introduction of Ban Zhao
Original Preface to This Work by Ban Zhao
Chapter 1 The Lowly and the Weak
Chapter 2 Husband and Wife
Chapter 3 Respect and Compliance
Chapter 4 Women's Conduct
Chapter 5 One-Mindedness
Chapter 6 Conceding Obedience
Chapter 7 Harmony with Younger Brothers-and-Sisters-in-Law
II. The Tang Women: The Song Sisters and the Analects for Women (?-820/825)
Wang Xiang's Biographic Introduction of the Song Sisters
Original Preface to This Work by the Song Sisters
Chapter 1 Establishing One's Person
Chapter 2 Learning the Work
Chapter 3 Learning the Rituals
Chapter 4 Rising Early
Chapter 5 Serving One's Parents
Chapter 6 Serving Parents-in-Law
Chapter 7 Serving One's Husband
Chapter 8 Instructing Boys and Girls
Chapter 9 Managing the Household
Chapter 10 Hosting Guests
Chapter 11 Harmony and Gentleness
Chapter 12 Guarding One's Integrity
III. The Ming Imperial Women: Empresses Renxiaowen and the Teachings for the Inner Court (1361-1407)
Wang Xiang's Biographic Introduction of Empress Renxiaowen
Original Preface to this Work by Empress Renxiaowen
Chapter 1 Virtuous Nature
Chapter 2 Self-Cultivation
Chapter 3 Prudent Speech
Chapter 4 Careful Conduct
Chapter 5 Diligence
Chapter 6 Frugality
Chapter 7 Watchfulness
Chapter 8 Accumulating Good Deeds
Chapter 9 Becoming Good
Chapter 10 Revering Sagely Teachings
Chapter 11 Admiring Wise Role Models
Chapter 12 Serving One's Parents
Chapter 13 Serving One's Ruler
Chapter 14 On Serving Parents-in-Law
Chapter 15 Performing Religious Rites
Chapter 16 Model Motherhood
Chapter 17 Friendly Relationship with Family Clans
Chapter 18 Benevolent Love for the Young
Chapter 19 Treating Imperial Concubines
Chapter 20 Treating Imperial Consorts' Maternal Relatives
IV. The Ming Women: Madame Liu and the Short Records of Models for Women (c. 16th century)
Wang Xiang's Biographic Introduction of His Mother, Madame Liu
Chapter 1 Unifying Thesis
Chapter 2 Queenly Virtues
Chapter 3 Model Motherhood
Chapter 4 Filial Conduct
Chapter 5 Chastity and Ardency
Chapter 6 Loyalty and Righteousness
Chapter 7 Benevolent Love
Chapter 8 Upholding Ritual Propriety
Chapter 9 Wisdom
Chapter 10 Diligence and Frugality
Chapter 11 Talent and Virtue
Appendix: Liu Xiang's Biographies of Women vis-a-vis Wang Xiang's Four Books for Women: Comparative Timelines and Categories of Women's Virtue


Ann A. Pang-White is Professor of Philosophy and Founding Director of Asian Studies at the University of Scranton, Pennsylvania. She is the editor of Bloomsbury Research Handbook of Chinese Philosophy and Gender (2016) and the author of over a dozen articles on Chinese and comparative philosophy as well as medieval philosophy.